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Osmosis Jones (film)

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Osmosis Jones is a 2001 live-action/animated comedy film directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon for the animated segments and the Farrelly brothers for the live-action segments. Unusual in this genre, the live-action characters never meet the animated characters.

The film is set in a fictionalized version of the human body, where micro-organisms or any being based in organisms, are anthropomorphic. The film centers on Frank Detorre (Bill Murray), a slovenly zookeeper. Osmosis Jones (Chris Rock), is a White blood cell who teams up with a cold pill Drix (David Hyde Pierce), to thwart Thrax (terell Jermaine boyd ), a deadly virus, who plans to kill Frank within a matter of hours, which would also kill the other characters living within him.

Osmosis Jones was released on August 10, 2001 in North America, on November 2, 2001 in the United Kingdom and on August 1, 2002 in Australia.[[|[2]]] Having been a box office bomb, it earned over $14 million worldwide, with its budget being $75 million. The film met with mixed reviews and received three nominations, having only won a Just For Laughs Award.

Despite the lack of accolades, Osmosis Jones sold well in home media. It spawned a Saturday morning cartoon television show, Ozzy & Drix, which aired on Kids WB from 2002 to 2004, albeit being completely animated and more emphasis on Osmosis and Drix's partnership in another body. Limited merchandise was created due to the film's financial failure good film.


Frank Detorre is a widowed slovenly zookeeper at the Sucat Memorial Zoo in Rhode Island. Much to the frustration of his young daughter, Shane, he eats compulsively unhealthily and has minimal concern for germs or disease. While trying to eat a hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise and salt, it is stolen from him by a chimpanzee. He gets it back, but not before it falls into the filth of the chimp's habitat. When Shane is disgusted by him about to eat it he uses the "ten second rule" as a justification for the unsanitary act.

Inside Frank's body is the "City of Frank", inhabited by the cells of Frank's body. Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones, an agent of the Frank Police Department (FPD) is a white blood cell and a junior cop, frequently obeying authority to do what he thinks is right. He was born in the "bowels" of Frank and is often ridiculed by his fellow cops due to his rebellious nature. After several newcomer germs, believed to be gingivitis, hijack a "squad car", Osmosis and his senior partner are pulled into the lungs by a massive yawn while in pursuit. After the germs evade capture and pass into "Immunity's" jurisdiction, Osmosis obeys direct orders,after he accidentally triggers a major cramp in Frank's leg due to his clumsy nature while pursuing the germ .

Meanwhile, as Frank's saliva cells work to clear out the egg a virus named Thrax emerges and goes to the left armpit to recruit some sweat germs for his big plan to launch a deadly infection. Meanwhile, Mayor Phlegmming is preparing for re-election, campaigning with the promise of more junk food and a trip to Buffalo, New York for a wings' festival. His reckless policies are largely responsible for Frank's deteriorating health. In an attempt to cover up the severity of situation, Phlegmming "tells" Frank to take a cold-suppressant pill nicknamed Drix (short for his brand name Drixenol or his chemical name Drixobenzometaphedramine), who arrives in the body and covers Frank's infected throat with a disinfectant to soothe the irritation. Osmosis is assigned as Drix's partner, much to their mutual chagrin.

In the nose, Thrax starts his plan by flooding the nose with snot after Jones accidentally let a pollen ball get away. Back at Cerebellum Hall, the mayor threatens to send Jones down the next nosebleed if he can't keep quiet about a virus in the body. While Drix is offered a different partner Ozzy tells him why he was demoted. Years ago, Frank ate some oysters off a kid's project at his daughter's science fair: Ozzy saw a bacterium emerge from the oyster, but feeling there wasn't time to call for back up, he instead hit the "puke" button. The results were bad: Frank lost his job and became the town's laughing stock, the teacher he puked on, Mrs. Boyd, issued a 200-yard restraining order, and Ozzy got suspended and has been placed on out-of-the-way patrols ever since. Drix says that Jones was justified in his decision as oysters are a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria of any type.

They later learn from a reformed influenza germ that Thrax is more dangerous than the average germ. His current whereabouts are a zit on the forehead. Posing as germs, Ozzy and Drix enter and discover Thrax's plot to overheat Frank's body, killing him from the inside. He wants to become the nastiest new virus, attempting to kill each new victim faster than the previous, planning to kill Frank within 48 hours, breaking all of his previous records. Confronting Thrax, Ozzy launches Drix's freezing grenade at him and his cronies, popping the skin blemish, killing nearly all of his men, and seemingly ending his siege. Meanwhile, Frank tries to persuade Mrs. Boyd to lift the restraining order so he can go on a school camping trip with Shane, but the zit pops onto her lip, making her refusal official. Back at the precinct, Phlegmming argues with the heroic duo over Thrax and his motives, which ends with Phlegmming (over the objections of Drix) threating to kick Ozzy out of Frank.

Thrax survives the explosion and, after killing off his remaining henchmen, successfully launches a lone assault on Frank's hypothalamus gland (the portion of the brain that controls temperature) by disabling its self-regulative capabilities. Arriving there, he kills two scientists and then uses his virus infecting finger to destroy the protoplasmic barrier around it and retrieve a DNA bead. Soon after, Leah Estrogen, the mayor's secretary, discovers his work and alerts security. Thrax manages to evade them and takes Leah hostage and escapes from the brain to the mouth with her. At the same time, Ozzy, in a movie theater showing dreams from the brain, discovers that Thrax is alive and in the brain when the movie screen turns a feverish red, and the dream becomes a nightmare. Ozzy rushes to stop Drix from leaving the body and manages to convince him to help stop Thrax once and for all. Meanwhile, Frank's temperature continues to rise, causing chaos and destruction to break out all over the City of Frank.

Frank, on his way to Buffalo with Bob for the festival, collapses behind the wheel of his car under the influence of Thrax's attack and is taken to the hospital, which Bob and Shane (whose bus to camp passed by the scene of her father collapsing) follow. At this time, Ozzy and Drix rescue Leah and confront Thrax, who leaves Frank's mouth after causing confusion using pollen bombs. He and Ozzy fight for the DNA chain on one of Shane's eyes and end up in false eyelashes which she was wearing atop her natural ones. During the fight, Thrax threatens to break his own record by killing off Shane, but Ozzy gets stuck on the false eyelash and escapes onto Shane's eye while Thrax falls into a vessel of alcohol below,

During this time, the situation becomes even more dangerous when Frank's temperature hits 108 degrees, causing him to go into cardiac arrest. Just as doctors give up trying to recesitate him, Frank is revived when amy returns to him via one of Shane's tears with the chain that holds Frank's missing hypothalamus chromosome. Ozzy and Drix are reinstated into the "Immunity Force" with full privileges and declared heroes, Leah returns his affections and he accepts Drix as his full-time partner and best friend.

Sometime later, Frank and Shane spend some long needed father-daughter time together on a hike. In addition, Frank, having recovered from his near-death experiance, has also since begun to improve his diet and personal hygiene. Meanwhile, Phlegmming has lost his position as mayor and now has a new job, cleaning the bowels as a janitor, giving his campaign rival, Tom Colonic, the role as mayor to make a new clean Frank. He accidentally ejects himself from the body via the rectum by touching a button that is marked "DO NOT TOUCH!" which triggers flatulence. To this, Frank makes a joke on his health by saying, "Out with the old, in with the new."


Live actors

  • Frank DeTorre (Bill Murray) is a 40-year-old widower who works at the zoo. He is prone to eating junk food, behaves laconically and disregards his health. It's inside his body that the animated part of the film takes place.
  • Shane DeTorre (Elena Franklin) is Frank’s 10-year-old daughter. Due to her father’s shortcomings, his health is very important to her. She has become somewhat depressed after her mother’s death, and as a result her grades and relationships with other people are suffering.
  • Mrs. Boyd (Molly Shannon) is Shane’s science and P.E teacher. Having had her reputation and those of her three children ruined after her embarrassment by Frank, she has a 200-yard restraining order against him to prevent any further embarrassment.
  • Bob DeTorre (Chris Elliott) is Frank’s brother and coworker, who got Frank his job at the zoo.
Osmosis jones

<sup Voice actors

  • Osmosis Jones (voice of Chris Rock) A funky, urban, over-zealous leukocyte (specifically a natural killer cell) with little respect for authority. Since he was discredited, he was suspended for unnecessary force and placed in out-of-the-way patrols. Therefore he seizes any opportunity to be able to make a difference. Ozzy is able to combine his eyes into one, to ooze under doors, and to contort his body.
  • Thrax (voice of Laurence Fishburne) A tall, extremely virulent, and unusually powerful pathogenic agent. He claims loudly: “Ebola is a case of dandruff compared to me!” and has killed numerous people before arriving in Frank. He carries a chain consisting of numerous chromosomes removed from other victims' hypothalamus as a trophy. His left index finger is a long claw, which can melt the cellular equivalent of steel, consume cells and other viruses in flames, and alter the properties of other cells. It is never specified what kind of disease he causes. His name is a play on the bacteria anthrax. Thrax serves as the secondary antagonist, but is later the true main antagonist.
  • Drix (voice of David Hyde Pierce) is a cold pill; he is red and yellow, boxy, and robotic. His right arm is a cannon used to shoot an assorted variety of medication, including one that freezes any target. He is a follower of written rules and compensates for his doubts of himself by acting haughtily. He is intelligent and clever, but has no sense of humor. Straight-laced and by-the-book, Drix disagrees with Osmosis’ methods, but respects Osmosis for continuing to fight illness. He is Osmosis' best friend.
  • Leah Estrogen (voice of Brandy Norwood) is Mayor Phlegmming’s secretary, greatly relied upon by the Mayor for her skills. She is one of few inhabitants of Frank who realize the flaws of the current administration, and one of the few willing to believe Osmosis’ claims of a large-scale infection. She is Osmosis' love interest.
  • Mayor Phlegmming (voice of William Shatner) is the short, overweight and self-centered mayor of the "City of Frank". He is constantly preoccupied with everything but his job, except when it concerns planning his re-election. His name is a pun on the word phlegm. Mayor Phlegmming is the primary antagonist (later a protagonist; at the end) of the film.
  • Tom Colonic (voice of Ron Howard) is Mayor Phlegmming’s opponent in the election. He is a tall, thin cell, and supports a healthier Frank. His mannerisms and personality resemble John F. Kennedy's.
  • Chief of Police (voice of Joel Silver though uncredited) is an extremely large, somewhat gelatinous cell with a short temper. He is evidently used to (though frustrated by) Ozzy’s adventures.

[[|^a]] Koldreliff is revealed to be Drix's surname, which is a satirical homophone of "cold relief", which is his primary function, being a cold pill, in the spin-off television program, Ozzy & Drix.

[[|^b]] Possibly a prototype design of Thrax as he has red skin and purple hair in the final film.


Osmosis Jones went through development hell during production. The animated sequences, directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon, went into production as planned, but acquiring both a director and a star actor for the live-action sequences took a considerable amount of time, until Bill Murray was cast as the main character of Frank, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly stepped in to direct the live action sequences. As part of their contract, the Farrelly Brothers are credited as the primary directors of the film, although they did no supervision of the animated portions of the film.


Upon its original release, the film lost a considerable amount of money, and was the second-to-last production for Warner Bros.' feature traditional animation department (following The Iron Giant, and followed by Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which both also lost money upon their original releases). Osmosis Jones opened at #7 in its first opening weekend at the U.S. box office.


Osmosis Jones received mixed reviews from film critics.[[|[3]]] Based on 103 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 54% of critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10.[[|[4]]] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 57 based on 28 reviews.[[|[3]]] The animated parts of Osmosis Jones are praised for its plot and fast pace, in contrast with the criticized live action segments, with Rotten Tomatoes consensus of the film being, "The animated portion of Osmosis is zippy and fun, but the live-action portion is lethargic.". Robert Koehler of Variety praised the film for its animated and live-action segments intervening, claiming it to be "the most extensive interplay of live action and animation since Who Framed Roger Rabbit?".[[|[5]]]

The use of toilet humor in Osmosis Jones, as done in most films directed by the Farrelly brothers, was widely criticized. As such, Lisa Alspector of Chicago Reader described the film as a "cathartically disgusting adventure movie."[[|[6]]] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film's animation and its glimpse of intelligence although did criticize the humor as being "so distasteful".[[|[7]]] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly felt that the film had a diverse premise as it "oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction.", where the scatological themes are again pointed out. Jonathan Foreman of New York Post claimed Osmosis Jones to have generic plotting, saying that "It's no funnier than your average grade-school biology lesson and less pedagogically useful than your typical Farrelly brothers comedy."

Chris Hewitt of Miami Times described Chris Rock's, Brandy Norwood's and Laurence Fishburne's voice work as Osmosis, Leah and Thrax respectively as "classy" although considered the film to be politically correct as all three of these actors are African-American. Michael Sragow of Baltimore Sun praised David Hyde Pierce's performance as Drix, claiming him to be "hilarious" and a "a take-charge dose of medicine."

Footage cut from the final film

  • In the original script and in early cuts of the film, a scene was featured when Osmosis and Drix go to the Gonad's Gym. It involved them talking to the "exercising" sperm cells. The scene was cut in order to stay family friendly. The Gonad's Gym logo does appear on Drix's suitcase during a scene in police station locker room.
  • In an earlier "cut" of the film, Ozzy and Drix visit an amusement park behind Frank's eye, called "See World". A sign advertising the latter can still be seen near Frank's stomach, which functions as the "arrivals" terminal of an airport.
  • The DVD release contains three extended (and half-animated) scenes, all of which appear in cut-down form in the final edit:
    • Drix and Jones visit the eyes, while Drix complains that he has to visit the nose and the throat. Jones gets doughnuts and calls the information desk on his 'cell' phone while at the eyes.
    • Frank picks his nose during the dam-bursting sequence, and Jones saves Drix from ending up on Frank's fingertip. In the end, they are inhaled into the sinuses.
    • The race to catch Thrax on his way to the uvula is extended; we see Thrax leap from his car and glide away. After Jones takes the wrong turn, he takes a "shortcut" to the uvula by way of the esophagus, riding a massive, acidic belch up the throat (A reference to the 1991 classic Thelma & Louise). Osmosis says "What the hell is a uvula?" It was later edited from hell to heck.
  • A draft of the script reveals that Osmosis, as a young boy, went to a family reunion. At that time Frank went to the doctors to have some blood removed, possibly in a blood drive. The needle drew out all of Ozzy's relatives, apparently leaving him all alone. This would have add to his "loneliness" in the film. The ending has Frank getting a blood transfusion to save his life, with his own prior blood. Thus Ozzy's family and relatives would have returned to Frank, in a parody of the abductees returning in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This was detailed in the film's commentary.
  • Another scene that was canceled so as to cut time was a scene where it showed how Phlegmming got kicked out of office. In the final cut it's assumed that he was impeached or that he simply lost his run for re-election but in a deleted scene he realizes all of his mistakes and willingly resigns thus putting Tom Colonic in office. This explains how he lost office at the film's end. This was supposed to connect with a scene when Phlegmming sees the city going up in flames and sheds a tear upon realizing all that he has done has caused Frank's near-destruction (this scene being left in the final cut).

Pop culture references

  • During Frank's near death experience, a group of street performers play "Nearer, My God, to Thee", symbolizing the apparent end of Frank. The group's leader who resembles Wallace Hartley remarks, "Gentlemen, playing with you has been the greatest pleasure of my life," before playing one final stanza. In the film Titanic, the ship's orchestral quartet does the same (mirroring the actions of the ship's band on the historical Titanic). Mayor Phlegmming's scene of shedding a tear at realizing he has doomed everyone in Frank also parallels Titanic's captain Edward Smith and builder Thomas Andrews, both of whom went down with the ship.
  • When Drix is introducing himself to Ozzy, he mentions that he was developed at the University of Chicago and graduated Phi Beta Capsule.
  • The Matrix is parodied briefly during the final fight between Jones and Thrax (Matrix star Laurence Fishburne) on the surface of Shane's eyeball. As Thrax gives Jones a roundhouse kick and Jones bends down to duck, the scene freezes and the camera swivels around the two in trademark Matrix style. In addition, Thrax wears a long black coat and sunglasses as the Matrix characters do.
  • In the scene where Jones stops Drix from leaving Frank, one of the germs is holding a Pikachu.
  • The line that Osmosis sings in the scene after The Zit explodes ("My name is what, my name is who, my name is ah! Osmosis Jones") is from the song "My Name Is" by Eminem.
  • At The Zit, the band Ozzy and Drix see is called Kidney Rock. It is a parody of rapper Kid Rock and his back-up band, including rapper Joe C., who died nearly a year before the release of this movie.
  • The movie makes a reference to a "National Buffalo Wing Festival" in Buffalo, New York. The event did not exist at the time. Buffalo resident Drew Cerza, upon seeing the movie, decided to organize a real-life National Buffalo Wing Festival, which has been held in Buffalo annually since 2002.
  • When Osmosis calls the information desk for the translation of "muerte rojo," mentioned by the sole survivor of the crashed saliva boat that caused the destruction, he was told that it was Spanish for "red death." This could very well be a reference to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" as well as saying that the fictional disease from the story is the same as Thrax.
  • In one scene a poster is shown that says "peace in the middle ear".


There was very little merchandising for the film. Trendmasters planned on releasing a toy line of the characters from the film (including but not limited to action figures, "flingable snot" and the like). However, they claimed they would only release the toys if the film exceeded $65 million at the box office. Unfortunately, the film failed to do so and the toys were never released. One of a few products released was a video game based on the series Ozzy & Drix. Hats, posters, soundtracks and presskits for the film can be found on eBay.


Main article: Osmosis Jones (soundtrack)A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on August 7, 2001 by Atlantic Records. The soundtrack failed to make it to the Billboard charts, but Trick Daddy's single "Take It to da House" managed to make it to 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

MPAA issue

Osmosis Jones was rated PG-13 in 2000, but in 2001 the film was re-rated PG for "bodily humor."


  1. [[|^]] "Osmosis Jones (2001)- Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  2. [[|^]] "Osmosis Jones (2001)- Release dates". Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  3. ^ [[|a]] [[|b]] "Osmosis Jones". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  4. [[|^]] "Osmosis Jones". IGN. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  5. [[|^]] Koehler, Robert (2001-08-02). "Osmosis Jones". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  6. [[|^]] Alspector, Lisa. "Osmosis Jones". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  7. [[|^]] McDonagh, Maitland. "Osmosis Jones". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  8. [[|^]] "Osmosis Jones (2001)- Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  9. [[|^]] "Osmosis Jones (2001)- Release dates". Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  10. ^ [[|a]] [[|b]] "Osmosis Jones". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  11. [[|^]] "Osmosis Jones". IGN. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  12. [[|^]] Koehler, Robert (2001-08-02). "Osmosis Jones". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  13. [[|^]] Alspector, Lisa. "Osmosis Jones". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  14. [[|^]] McDonagh, Maitland. "Osmosis Jones". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-12-24.

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